Yearly Archives: 2021

Physical assault and sexual harassment of woman human rights defender Sultana Khaya and her family

Front Line Defenders, 25 August 2021

Sultana Khaya

On 22 August 2021, Moroccan security agents raided the house of woman human rights defender Sultana Khaya and physically assaulted her, her sister Laura Khaya and other members of her family. The security agents destroyed the furniture in Sultana Khaya’s house, causing damage to parts of the house and seizing the family’s belongings. Sultana Khaya and her sister were also subjected to sexual harassment by male security agents during the raid.

Full report

Open Letter to UN Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General New York

New York Support Group for the Independence of Western Sahara
New York, 1 September 2021

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the deployment of the first MINURSO contingent in Western Sahara, the New York Support Group for the Independence of Western Sahara with its 298 member-organisations, including Australia Western Sahara Association, recalls the terms of the Settlement Plan submitted jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairman of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, and approved by the Security Council. The plan provided  that “the people of  Western Sahara will choose, freely and democratically, between independence and integration  with Morocco” and that “The referendum should be held 24 weeks after the cease-fire comes into effect”.

Rather than 24 weeks, It is now 30 years since that cease-fire Settlement Plan was approved and still there is no resolution of the conflict. This excellent letter identifies the reasons MINURSO and the UN are failing in their mission.

Letter from New York Support Group to UN

US Senator James Inhofe speaks out on Western Sahara

US Senate, 11 August 2021

On 11 August 2021 Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma spoke on the Senate floor about the continuing plight of the people of Western Sahara.

He and others in the Senate have on a bi-partisan basis continued to stand up for the Saharawis and their right to determine their own future for years and continue to call on their country and the world to do the right thing.

Watch YouTube video of Senator Inhofe speech

President of CODESA and his 2 colleagues kidnapped from Khaya family’s house

10 May 2021

On the morning of 10 May 2021 Moroccan occupying forces broke into the house of Khaya family in Boujdour/occupied Western Sahara.
They captured the President of the Collective of Saharawi Human Rights Defenders in Western Sahara – CODESA, Babouzaid Mohamed Saeed (34 years) and his two colleagues (Khalid Boufraywa and Salec babir).
The whole family was living under house arrest and constant terror for more than 5 months.

The aftermath of this harrowing and brutal incident was captured in this short video made by the HR activist Sultana Khaya.

Sultana Khaya – YouTube video

UN human rights expert decries “clampdown” on human rights defenders

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
GENEVA (1 July 2021)
Morocco must stop targeting human rights defenders and journalists standing up for human rights issues related to Western Sahara, and allow them to work without reprisals, Mary Lawlor, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said today.
“I urge the Government of Morocco to cease targeting human rights defenders and journalists for their work, and to create an environment in which they can carry out such work without fear of retaliation,” she said. (cont.)

OHCHR report of Moroccan human rights abuses

Reversing Course on Western Sahara Serves US National Interests

Image Credit: Michele Benericetti, Creative Commons License

By Djaouida Siaci
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, March 29, 2021

The former Trump administration’s persistent pattern of violating international law has put the United States on the same level as the rogue nations that subvert international consensus and the rules-based international order.
This pattern is most profound in former President Trump’s last foreign policy act: a tweet in which he recognized Morocco’s claim of alleged sovereignty over occupied Western Sahara (cont.)

Journal article

NZ support group launches the Western Sahara New Zealand campaign and website

On 4 March 2021 Western Sahara supporters in New Zealand celebrated the launch of the Western Sahara New Zealand campaign and website.

An online live-streamed panel discussed New Zealand’s role in Western Sahara

The panel included:
Mr. Kamel Fadel: Polisario Representative for Australia & New Zealand
Ms. Louisa Wall,  Labour  MP
Ms. Golriz Ghahraman, Green MP
• The Panel discussion was facilitated by Otepoti-based artist: Mr. Matthew Galloway

Video of launch and discussion

Western Sahara Campaign NZ
The recently established Western Sahara Campaign NZ is a nationwide network of people committed to supporting and advocating for the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination.
Website
Facebook